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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

October 13, 2012
THANKS FOR BELIEVING IN ME
Johnson tips his hat to Schmid, Klinsmann and Sounders owner


NORTH SOUND, Antigua — For U.S. striker Eddie Johnson, it was all about believing, in himself and having other people believe in him.

Johnson, making his first international appearance in two years, credited his two goals against Antigua & Barbuda on Friday to the belief both his coaches — U.S. national team’s Juergen Klinsmann and Seattle Sounders’ Sigi Schmid -- had in him.

His dramatic, 90th-minute goal boosted the Americans to a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win on the ragged, heavy itch at Sir Vivian Riachards Cricket Stadium.

“All I can say, man, we talk about dreams and making dreams a reality,” he told beIn after the match. “It’s been two years since I’ve been in the mix. Credit goes to Sigi Schmid. The first I want to thank is Seattle and Adrian [Hanauer}, the owner, for giving me a second chance and really believed in me when no one else believed in me.

“We talk about in this business relationships. Fortunately my coach is of German background and him and Klinsmann have a good relationship and he told me from day one that if I’m doing the business here, he has a good relationship with Klinsmann and he’ll put in a good word for me.

“It’s good to be back in the mix. It’s good to be around the guys I used to play with. Going into this game, the coach had a ton of confidence in me to put me out wide on the wing. My teammates had a bunch of confidence in me. It’s easy to come into these camps when everyone believes in you and your coach believes in you from day one.”

Johnson scored off of two headers, the first in the 20th minute to give the Americans a 1-0 advantage. After the hosts equalized five minutes, Johnson headed one past goalkeeper Molvin James again just as the clock struck the 90th minute (the game was completed in the fifth minute of stoppage time).

He played as a winger in a system that went into a 4-2-4 formation when the U.S. went on attack.

“It worked,” he told beIn. “We have a world class coach who has played at the highest level. He was the top player in the world at one point. He knows the game. He’s been around and played on big teams and coached big players. they put me out there on the wing. He already had a bunch of confidence in me, so it’s easy to get out there.

“One of my goals was that I have to adapt to whatever role I have to play in this game. If I go out there, I have a ton of confidence in believing your own ability and that’s what I did tonight.”

   
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